Hemodialysis is a life-saving treatment for patients experiencing kidney failure where blood is filtered through a machine. For this treatment, an AV fistula is the preferred vascular access because they last longer and are more stable. The Vascular Experts Florida is your preferred provider for AV fistula creation and central venous access.
An arteriovenous fistula is a surgically created connection between an artery and a vein, typically located in your arm. It allows blood to flow directly from an artery into a vein to increase blood pressure and allow as much blood flow as possible during hemodialysis treatment. An AV fistula gives the vein the capability to deliver the necessary volume of blood for proper hemodialysis treatment. About a pint of blood flows through the dialyzer every minute to filter out wastes and extra fluids, taking the burden off dysfunctional kidneys. A stable AV fistula is vital to hemodialysis treatments and must be placed weeks or months before the first treatment. When a suitable vein is not available for the creation of an AV fistula, a graft will need to be used to create the connection between the vein and the artery. The graft is a prosthetic tube that can be placed surgically to create this connection.
Dr. Vargas can also insert a central venous catheter if needed for immediate use for dialysis as well as for other conditions requiring treatment via vascular access. We provide placement of permacaths, ports, PICC lines, Hickman catheters, and all our central line placements are performed by board-certified vascular surgeon Dr. Lina Vargas under ultrasound and fluoroscopic guidance.
Ideal candidates for an AV fistula are younger with low comorbidity, vessels of a size that will support the AV fistula, and sufficient time for the fistula to mature prior to beginning hemodialysis.
After your blood vessels are evaluated to ensure they’ll support your AV fistula, you’ll be given a series of tests to help map your vessels. At the time of surgery, a small incision is made to create a surgical connection between the artery and vein or to create a connection with a graft if no adequate vein is available. Your fistula must mature for several weeks before your hemodialysis can begin.
An AV fistula is an outpatient procedure and you will be able to return home after a few hours. Incision(s) will take a few days to heal and you will need to avoid lifting anything heavy for a couple of weeks. You will be instructed to exercise your hand to assist with fistula maturation following your procedure. Follow all post-procedure instructions on how to care for and maintain your AV fistula or graft.
*Individual Results May Vary
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*Individual Results May Vary